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“Kinda Retro Fun” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hofsas House Hotel

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Hofsas House Hotel
Between 3rd and 4th Avenues on San Carlos Street, Carmel, CA 93921   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 21 hotels in Carmel
San Francisco, California, United States
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Kinda Retro Fun”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

This is a great relaxed place. Room are large. Beds are comfortable. In the area of downtown Carmel that has all the little quirky-chic hotels. This one has a Hansel and Gretal type atmosphere with original art. It is iconic and memorable in this way, like many places in Carmel. The owners are always accommodating. Don't expect luxury, it is not that place. The feeling is more as if you fell back into the 1950's. If there are any mobility problems, call ahead and reserve a downstairs room. No elevators. Some rooms have open area outside with some view. It is about 6 blocks from the ocean but nice walk. To be in Carmel, one should walk around obviously for the great restaurants, galleries, and shopping. Note: Dogs are allowed in many restaurants and hotel rooms. If this bothers you, call ahead. There are a few no dog hotels or non dog rooms. But people love their dogs here.

Room Tip: No restaurant with hotel. If you get up early, they will have pastries in the tiny lobby. I don'...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hofsas, Manager at Hofsas House Hotel, responded to this review, February 9, 2014
Thank you for the great review! Were so happy that you enjoyed the large rooms and the comfortable beds along with the great central location. We sincerely hope you visit us again thank you for the great review!
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227 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
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English first
So. Calif.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

First, let me say this review is coming from the perspective of a senior citizen couple. Our stay was for one night over Veteran's Day weekend. We'd been traveling for over a week and didn't realize that it was a holiday weekend so, of course, couldn't find a room after calling several. We went to the Visitor Center and a very nice woman made some calls and found a room at this hotel. Her description made it sound charming. We arrived at this four story hotel and checked in at the office which is street side and on the top level. We were told our room was on the lower level assuming that meant ground level. We were pleased thinking, as a senior couple who has a little trouble walking, it would be easy access. Not true. The lower level is not ground level. You have to walk up a rather long ramp to get to the lower level. The parking lot was small and arranged so that cars had to squeeze into what seemed to be uneven spaces. That didn't even matter in this case as the parking lot was completely full with some cars parked behind others in the open space blocking in some cars. After driving back up to street level and back down and around the hotel a couple of times we could find no parking. I went into the office to ask what to do and they explained they had rented out a conference room on ground level (the real ground level) which was just below our room and said the people had to be out by 8:00 PM and parking for us would then be available. That meant we'd have to wait a couple of hours to park to get into our room. A lady in the office offered to give up her parking space for us which was kind of her but unfortunately, some distance from the ramp we had to walk up to get to our room. She did help us drag our suitcases up the ramp to our room. We hoped to go out for dinner at one of the wonderful restaurants in town and walk around a bit to see the shops but we were afraid of losing our parking space upon returning and also didn't want to have to walk that ramp again. So we were forced to stay in and order room service from a list of restaurants provided in the room. The group in the conference room was extremely noisy. When 8:00 PM came and went and they were still going strong I finally called the office at 9:00 PM. The woman I spoke to was surprised they were still there. I had been told these people were having a meeting which I doubt. They were a group of people who didn't speak English so couldn't understand me when I questioned them about leaving. They had small children in strollers and it really sounded more like a party was going on. I think my biggest disappointment was that the women running the hotel thought it was more important for the noisy people in the conference room take up all the parking spaces rather than their overnight customers. She explained they had paid for the room. What about overnight guests who also paid for their rooms?

Other reviewers wrote about their large rooms and kitchen areas. Ours was a small room with no kitchen. The TV was very small, the old fashioned tube type. The heater took so long heating we thought it was broken so called the office and they delivered a space heater. The rooms do have thin walls although we were lucky the people next door were quiet. The small room and small bathroom were clean and the bed comfortable but the room sure could use some updating. The door lock was flimsy as other reviewers stated. The best thing I can say about this hotel is the delicious pastries they served in the morning in the office. We couldn't walk up the four levels to get them (no elevator) so picked them up when we drove up the hill, to go into the office to check out and drop off the keys. We had to find street parking as someone had parked in the pass through area outside the office door blocking the way. They had gone in the office to get a room and wouldn't move their car to allow room to pass. It would have been nice to relax in the room and eat the pastries with a cup of coffee but had to eat them in the car while we traveled on. The price, $150/night, I'd consider fair for Carmel on a holiday weekend if it had not been for all the problems. This was definitely not the Carmel evening we had hoped for. Would I stay here again? Unfortunately no. If you are a senior citizen or disabled I would check the availability of a room and parking to suit your needs and physically check it yourself before agreeing to stay there. I'm sorry to have to post such a negative review especially since so many others seem to be satisfied with this hotel but all I can describe honestly is our experience.

. .

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hofsas, Manager at Hofsas House Hotel, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
My grandmother, Donna Hofsas, did build this hotel into a hill which affords us a lovely ocean view from our third and fourth levels, but does make it hard for people that have difficulty walking. Since each room is decorated differently and has varying accommodations and amenities, we encourage all of our guests to call us to make sure that we have them in a room that will best suit their needs.

I am sorry that this guest did not have a positive experience while staying at the Hofsas House. Our goal is to make all of our guests comfortable especially since we do not have an elevator and easy parking for guests with mobility issues. We do have rooms that are on the lobby level that do not require steps to reach them and one room is an ADA accessible room with a king bed, private balcony, ocean view and roll-in shower. Unfortunately it was a busy weekend and this guest did not make an advanced reservation so this standard queen room by the pool is all we could offer them as a last minute reservation.
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Los Angeles, CA
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

Adorable hotel! My room was comfortable and a had little kitchen and big bed. This is my new Carmel "go to " hotel. This is one of the few hotels in Carmel that offers a heated pool and a sauna. I really enjoyed swimming in the heated pool and relaxing before heading out to doing my shopping in the village and a bit of wine tasting. Our bathroom even had heated floors which added an extra touch of luxury to our accommodations.

This hotel is family owned and run by Carrie Theis, carrying on from her grandmother Donna Hofsas who founded the hotel. Because it is family run, the hotel offers hands-on, personal service and attention to guests that is rare and hard to find today. There are charming Bavarian murals in the front of the hotel that offer old-world charm. Breakfast is pastries, juice and coffee, which is included in the price.

Great value for price and family owned. Try it! The price for our room was extremely affordable,especially considering all the amenities the hotel has to offer: pool, free parking, breakfast and free WIFI.

We'll be coming back here on our next trip to Carmel.

Room Tip: Ask to be upgraded if possible to one of the suites with a patio and kitchenette. Ask for the shop...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hofsas, Manager at Hofsas House Hotel, responded to this review, January 3, 2014
Thank you for the great review! We take great pride in our family run hotel- we are so happy it shoes and that you enjoyed everything. We hope you visit us again and wish you a happy new year!
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Spokane, Washington
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

My husband & I stayed at the Hofsas House over Thanksgiving. We didn't spend much time in the room, just went to bed and woke up there. The room was ok, the walls were extremely thin. We could hear every word our neighbors were saying..and not to mention their barking dogs all night. Breakfast was a couple of pastries with either an orange or a banana. The front desk was not very friendly, housekeeping did a good job. Close to shopping & ocean.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hofsas, Manager at Hofsas House Hotel, responded to this review, December 12, 2013
We are so happy you enjoyed our great central location, but sorry to hear you did not enjoy your stay more. We hope you will consider staying with us again next time you visit Carmel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel welcome. The desk clerk took time to show us our room, which was an impressive start to our visit. We decided to stay on the top floor because we wanted a view of the ocean. We were not disappointed! The view from our room, #45, was gorgeous! As there were tables & chairs on a the small deck, we decided to enjoy the sunset from the hotel. A little deli was within 2 blocks and we had a wonderful meal on the china plates from our small kitchen, which had a mini fridge, coffee maker and microwave. Everything about this hotel says they were glad we stayed with them. From the specialty shower gel, soaps, shampoo, coffee, and wonderful fresh pastries in the morning, we couldn't have been more pleased. The linens were first class, the antique furniture was charming, and the room was very large. We especially enjoyed the fireplace with the two duraflame logs which we burned in the evening. Before we left, the desk clerk made suggestions to help us enjoy our trip along the coast south of Carmel. Attached is a photo we took from the balcony in front of our room.

Room Tip: Rooms on the top floor have wonderful views of the sunset!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hofsas, Manager at Hofsas House Hotel, responded to this review, December 2, 2013
We are happy you enjoyed the location and the friendly staff and, of course, the wonderful views! We sincerely hope you stay with us again next time you are in Carmel.
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San Diego, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

We took a group of golfers for a week in the beautiful Monterey Peninsula area and Carmel. We got a recommendation for this hotel. We were not disappointed in the overall experience. The price was very good for the value. We were able to walk all over Carmel for dinner and shopping...no need for a car in town. It is an older hotel and the furnishings and rooms need updating. There was an annoying sound like a "running toilet" one night but the staff found the problem once several of us complained. Carrie, the owner, and her staff were very accommodating, gave us lots of suggestions for things to do, etc. It is a dog friendly hotel so be prepared for a few barking dogs. The walls are a little thin.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hofsas, Manager at Hofsas House Hotel, responded to this review, November 22, 2013
We are happy you enjoyed a lovely stay with us! We hope you stay with us again next time you are in Carmel.
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Leeds
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights at the start of October. It was the final leg of our trip so we were looking for a few calm days and this was the perfect spot. When we arrived we were welcomed warmly and told we had an upgraded room. This is always a great start.
The room was on the first floor so we did have to cart all our stuff upstairs but it was worth it because it had a real log fire in the room! How wonderful. We were able to light it in the evening and fall asleep to the flickering firelight and it really did warm the room up too.
The overall look of the place is very individual. Some would call it twee but it didnt phase us and the facilities were just what we needed. We had spent the past two weeks living on hotel, restaurant and cafe food so to have a fridge, kettle, toaster and microwave it was heaven. We were able to eat simple food. The bathroom seemed a bit lacklustre on first appearance but do not let this deceive you, the shower is the best one out of all the hotels we stayed at. I even liked the complimentary toiletries.
Breakfast is a simple continental affair served in the tiny reception room but they are more than happy to give you a tray so you can take what you need to your room. On the day we checked out they even offered to wrap up some for us to take on our journey back to San Fran.
I would highly recommend this place. It is great value for money, great service and in a great location to explore Carmel on foot or by car.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 43. If we ever go back I would ask for it.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hofsas, Manager at Hofsas House Hotel, responded to this review, November 9, 2013
We are happy you enjoyed a great stay with us! The fireplaces are always a nice treat this time of year. We hope you visit us again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hofsas House Hotel

Address: Between 3rd and 4th Avenues on San Carlos Street, Carmel, CA 93921
Location: United States > California > Monterey Peninsula > Carmel
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#14 Family Hotel in Carmel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casual European elegance with the warmth of family hospitality, a boutique family-owned inn with 37 uniquely decorated, spacious rooms, many with ocean views in the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Other amenities include: continental breakfast, heated swimming pool, dry saunas, off-street parking, free wireless Internet access & some rooms dog friendly. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hofsas Hotel Carmel
Hofsas House Hotel Carmel

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